PENNSYLVANIA: A state House panel moved a bill that paves the way for research into industrial uses of hemp research
After approval by the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, the bill now moves to the House floor. The measure would allow university researchers and programs administered by the Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp through a pilot program.
The legislation is sponsored by State Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) and is one step toward re-establishing the industrial hemp industry in the state, which used to lead the nation.
Industrial hemp production stopped in 1937 when the Marijuana Tax Act was passed. Hemp has been illegal since 1970 when the Controlled Substances Act passed, as hemp comes from the cannabis plant.
In May, it was reported that Canadians are turning a profit from production of hemp seed. According to an Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development report, estimated gross revenue for Canadian hemp seed production was between $30.75 million and $34 million. In 2010, exports of Canadian hemp seed and hemp products were valued at more than $10 million.